Age-associated alterations of the mitochondrial genome

Free Radic Biol Med. 1997;22(7):1259-69. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(96)00546-1.


Age-associated alterations of the mitochondrial genome occur in several different species; however, their physiological relevance remains unclear. The age-associated changes of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) include nucleotide point mutations and modifications, as well as deletions. In this review, we summarize the current literature on age-associated mtDNA mutations and deletions and comment on their abundance. A clear need exists for a more thorough evaluation of the total damage to the mitochondrial genome that accumulates in aged tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Animals
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Diet
  • Electron Transport
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Nucleotides / genetics
  • Nucleotides / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Point Mutation
  • Sequence Deletion


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Nucleotides